As I See It | Roger Partridge, CFRE | Consulting Associate

The Power of the Handwritten Note

I’ve always been a fan of a handwritten note, no matter the occasion. A note of thanks or congratulations on a job well done mean so much to the recipient. I’ve written many, many notes. Recently, during a pandemic cleaning opportunity (there’s been way too much time for pandemic cleaning), I found a stash of notes that I had received. A flood of fond memories came back to me as I reread the notes from donors and former co-workers throughout my fundraising career.   

A small but powerful action

Notes don’t have to be long or labored compositions. A few words to express your feelings of gratitude can go so far to brighten the day of the recipient. In my case, years later, most of the topics were small acts I had done that made an impact of my friend(s). Most of those acts were long forgotten by me but the note reinforced that my action had made an impact.   

Of course, notecards are far from instant. There are certainly times we send a text or email in a few seconds and move on to the next task. But as quickly as those communications are expressed, they may also be forgotten

Heartfelt gratitude for your donors

In my many years as a fundraiser, writing notes to donors became a habit that I enjoyed. I found the formal acknowledgment letter from the nonprofit was just the first step in expressing gratitude for the donor’s contribution. Writing a note would allow me to truly express my thanks and explain what their gift would mean for the organization. Sometimes it was just thanking them for attending a tour or to provide an update of how their gift is making an impact. Easy to do, but making the time to complete the writing task can be the difficult part. 

After rereading some of the treasured notes that I received, I think it’s time for me to write some notes to my friends to tell them how special they made me feel when I read their words. I certainly have plenty of time do that, I’d love to postpone that pandemic cleaning project.   


About the Author

With nearly 30 years of nonprofit fundraising experience, Roger is a certified fundraising executive and offers a wealth of knowledge in areas including annual gifts, special events, endowment funds, capital campaigns, planned giving and major gifts to M. Gale & Associates. His career also includes multi-million dollar major gift solicitations. During his notable career, Roger has served in fundraising leadership roles with Gladney Center for Adoption, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Child Study Center Foundation, St. Paul Medical/UT Southwestern Medical School, Central Texas Methodist Foundation, and Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County.

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